Despite efforts, recruitment of minorities for coronavirus vaccine trial is lagging behind

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Trials could be delayed if Moderna does not recruit enough minorities to join them.

Moderna aims to recruit 30,000 volunteers into its Phase 3 trial, and in a tweet Friday night revealed that 18% of the 13,194 volunteers enlisted so far were minorities, which the company said included “blacks or African Americans, Latinxes, American Indians and Alaskan Native. ”

Fauci told CNN earlier this week that he wanted to see minorities enrolled in coronavirus vaccine trials at levels that are at least double their percentages in the population. This means that at least 66.4% of the volunteers would come from these four groups.

According to census data, 18.5% of the American population is Latino, 13.4% is black, and 1.3% is Native American and native to Alaska.

Fauci said he wanted minorities to be enrolled at more than double their percentages in the population, as minorities have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic. He clarified that this number was a target and not a requirement.He said minority participation in the trials should “aim to equal the burden of disease.” We would like to do that – whether we get there or not, I don’t know. “

The representation of minorities is also important because the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine may be different for minority groups and for whites, and therefore a significant percentage of participants should be from these groups.

The company said it was trying.

“Moderna has selected nearly 100 clinical research sites with representative demographics and is working closely with these sites to ensure that volunteers at increased risk of COVID-19 disease are enrolled in the study,” the company said. in a statement released on Friday.

Covid-19 vaccine trials took a long time to recruit blacks and Latin Americans - and that could delay a vaccine

“Clinical research sites, with corporate support, are working within their local communities to reach a diverse population. Together with collaborators, the company hopes to achieve a shared coal that participants [vaccine trial] are representative of the communities most exposed to COVID-19 and of our diverse society. ”

In its Friday night tweet, Moderna also announced that the company has so far recruited 13,194 attendees. At this rate, the company will easily register 30,000 participants from early to mid-September.

However, Fauci said that if the right percentages of minorities are not achieved by the time Moderna reaches 30,000 study subjects, the trials should continue to recruit.

“We will continue until we get there. We may just need to recruit more volunteers than [30,000], ” he said.

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